Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of UK in Austria

3rd July 2020 Vienna, Austria

Online Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Monday 6 July

UPDATE: The questions and answers (including those from Facebook) can be downloaded here

Do you have questions about how the UK’s exit from the EU affects you?  The embassy is running an online Q&A session on Monday 6 July.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team here and colleagues in London have continued to work closely with the Austrian authorities to ensure rights of British citizens living in Austria to continue to live and work here are protected, and any actions you need to take are communicated clearly and in good time. The Austrian government have not yet announced the exact details of the registration process you will need to follow, but the actions you can already take are on our living in Austria guide. Please sign up for email updates on that page.

The Q&A will be on our embassy facebook page. On Monday 6 July at midday, we will publish a post where you can ask questions in the comments. The post will be open for comments for 2 hours. It is important you comment only on the original post and not on shares, because we cannot always see comments on shared posts. If you are not on facebook, you can leave questions as comments on this blog post. We will publish the answers on Friday 10 July.

We will do our best to answer everything, but cannot offer guidance on a couple of topics that I know matter to many of you. Buying property in Austria after the end of the Implementation Period, for example, is regulated at a regional level. You should contact the regional authorities directly. Questions about tax should go to an accountant. There will be some other topics where we are not in a position to give a definitive answer.

We hope to do a series of outreach events around Austria later in the year, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, this is your chance to ask. We look forward to hearing from you.

98 comments on “Online Q&A for UK nationals in Austria – Monday 6 July

  1. Hi,
    How does it work with seasonal work for the winter season in the ski resorts?
    If my friend gets a job in November 2020, before the withdrawal agreement ends he has time to apply for citizenship until June 2021, right? Does that count for seasonal workers as well?

  2. Hello,

    Do you know what the situation will be regarding university degrees obtained in both the UK and Austria post-transition period? Under the current state of affairs, these documents are recognised (albeit with an apostille from the British government) but will they continue to be recognised post-transition period?

    What about degrees obtained in Austria – will these then similarly be recognised in the UK post-transition period?

    Thanks and best wishes,
    Matt

  3. Dear Mr Turner,

    It would be really useful if the authorities could soon provide a definitive list of the documentation needed to apply for residency (and more particularly anything we may need other than the obvious passport, Aufenthalts/Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung and proof of health insurance). It would be very helpful to know if we will also need documentation such as a translated birth certificate with an apostille no older than 6 months, or whether we will need to apply for a criminal records check from the UK, as these things take time to obtain. Also, will those of us with a Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung be automatically entitled to apply for a permanent residence permit without proof of current income? If not, as I am no longer able to meet income requirements due to childcare issues/Covid 19, can the income of an (unmarried) Austrian partner be taken into account?

    Thank you for attention and best regards,

    Ms A Russell

    1. Dear Ms Russell, thank you for joining the Q&A. We appreciate that you would like to have certainty about the required documentation as soon as possible.

      The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals lawfully resident in Austria before 31 December 2020. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals, which should be smooth, transparent and simple. Irrespective of when the system opens, you have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence permit.

      We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities about their plans and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  4. Dear Embassy team, a second question please. I am married to an Austrian, have been resident here for 18mths and have a third country birth certificate (Kenya). Do you know if this complicates identification during the registration process? I am already waiting for it to be authenticated by Kenya authorities.

    1. Hello again Peter, the Withdrawal Agreement protects all UK nationals legally residing in the EU and EFTA states who were exercising free movement rights before the end of the transition period. In this context ‘UK nationals’ includes British citizens, British subjects with the right of abode in the UK, and British Overseas Territories citizens who acquire citizenship from a connection with Gibraltar. In order to clarify your personal situation and the documents required to register for Austrian residency, we recommend that you contact the Austrian government’s Brexit Hotline
      at +43 (0) 800 222 666 (free of charge within Austria)
      Operating hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      You can also contact them by email: service@bka.gv.at

  5. Hi Embassy team. I am married to an Austrian (I have been resident for 18mths) and do not speak much German so the waiving of the language test is the key element for me, so do you believe this is still likely or is everything off until a new agreement with the EU?

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for getting in touch. Please note that under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, residence rights of UK nationals living in Austria at the end of the transition period are protected, regardless of their language skills. UK nationals will need to get a new residence permit to confirm their rights under the agreement. For more information and to stay up to date, we recommend you sign up for updates to our Living in Austria Guide at https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  6. Thank you for doing this Q&A. I have an Anmeldebescheinigung as well as a Meldezettel for living in Austria, but the Gov.UK Living in Austria site only mentions it is possible to live in Austria by getting these before the deadline 31 Dec 2020. What if I were to move to another EEA country after this deadline? Is this possible/foreseen? I really appreciate any information regarding this matter.
    Oliver

    1. Hello Oliver. The UK pushed strongly for the inclusion of onward movement rights (i.e. the right to move to another EU country after the end of the transition period) during the first phase of negotiations but the EU was not ready to include them. During the transition period, you will be able to move to another EU/EEA country as before. For more information and to stay up to date, sign up for email alerts on our Living in Austria Guide https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  7. I am a UK national currently living in Miami, USA. I intend to relocate permanently to Vienna in early August 2020. As I am travelling via Lisbon, and will be unable to present a COVID19-negative certificate less than 4 days old (results in the USA take 5-7 days on average) on arrival at Vienna airport, will I be allowed to enter Austria provided I self-quarantine for 14 days and go out only to take the test?

    1. Hi Giles, thanks for your question. Yes, you can. You would only need an International Driving Permit if you had an old paper license.

  8. If we go on holiday to Italy from Austria after December 2020 do we need holiday insurance? Can we use the E-card? How have our rights changed?

    1. Hello Rob, many thanks for your question.

      If you are resident in Austria, your ecards will still cover any needs-arising treatment when travelling after December. The government already advises that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance. This will remain our advice in all circumstances.

      If you are living in Austria, you will also need to get a new residence permit which you should take with you when you travel. Please have a look at http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria for further information.

  9. I am about to submit my passport renewal documentation. What if something goes wrong, Covid-19 disruption, or whatever? I believe that the usual solution would be an “Emergency Travel Document” and a trip to London. The problem is that I am currently undergoing cancer treatment here in Austria and am medically ordered not to travel, even the local public transport is not allowed. What would be the solution in this case? Could I ask a friend or relative to go to London for me? I believe that I would have to have a valid passport to get Austrian residency.

    1. Hello Gordon. You’re right that COVID-19 has caused some disruptions for HMPO, and they can’t currently guarantee how long a passport renewal will take. However, you can still submit an application for a renewal if you will urgently need a valid passport to apply for Austrian residency. In the unlikely case that your renewed passport is not sent to you before the end of the year, you could apply for an Emergency Travel Document if you need to travel urgently.

  10. I have been living and working in Austria for 15 years. I am married to an Austria Citizen. I had all the relevant documentation needed as an EU citizen until now (Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts etc). I would like to know what options i have now and also the pros/cons of each so i can make an informed decision. (ie citizenship / Daueraufenthaltskarte etc)
    In some documentation types a proven level of German is needed. Will this be waved for UK citizens applying due to the Brexit situation.
    I travel withing Europe for my job and are there different implications depending on the selection of the document (i want to travel easily in the future). What is the future process to travel in Europe currently as a non EU citizen.
    Thanks

    1. Dear Mike, thanks for your questions. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of those who have exercised their freedom of movement in Austria before 31 December 2020 to continue to live here. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence permit. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts at https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria
      Regarding your questions on travel, as you may know both sides have expressed their intention to establish visa-free travel for short visits of up to 90 in 180 days. Rules for working across borders and the provision of services to EU member states after 1 January 2021 are currently subject to UK-EU negotiations.

      When it comes to dual nationality, understandably there has been a great deal of interest in the subject from UK nationals living in Austria and we have continually raised this important issue in our meetings with the Austrian authorities. According to the Austrian law, UK nationals would be legally bound to renounce their British nationality if they chose to naturalise in Austria, as the authorities here follow the principle of mono-citizenship and there are very few exceptions to this rule. Please contact the Austrian authorities with further questions about dual nationality. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, which protects UK nationals living in member states at the end of the transition period, these have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for your new residence permit, which will be a bespoke permit for UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  11. I understand that if we have the “permanent residence” status provided by the Withdrawal Agreement, we will lose it after 5 consecutive years outside of Austria. My question is how long we need to be back in Austria to reset the countdown? If, for example, we are outside of Austria for 4 years and want to return to Austria for long enough to reset the clock and ensure that we don’t lose our status, what will we need to do?

  12. Hi,

    My partner of 7 years is still working in the UK. What rights would he have to join me and live in Austria, if he moved after the end of the transition period? Can he move to Austria before the end of the transition period and secure residency without a job in Austria?
    Alternatively, if he continues working for a UK company remotely from Austria, how will his access to healthcare change after the end of the transition period? As I understand it, at the moment he could transfer his access with the NHS to an Austrian Krankenkasse.

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Melanie, and thanks for your questions. The citizens’ rights provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement will extend to EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU who move during the transition period. Therefore, if your partner moved to Austria before 31 December 2020 exercising his freedom of movement, he would be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You mention that one of the options he is looking at is for him to continue to work for a UK company. The Withdrawal Agreement does not cover so-called posted workers. If eligible, your partner’s healthcare could be covered via the S1 scheme until 31 December 2020. However, the UK’s participation in the S1 scheme for future posted workers from 1 January 2021 is subject to the future relationship negotiations between the UK and the EU.

      You can sign up for email alerts to receive updates on posted workers and other important topics on our Living in Austria guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria). Thanks again for your questions and all the best!

  13. 1) Are you able to clarify if a dual UK/EU national living in Austria since birth will be eligible for undergraduate financial support from Student Finance England for a university course in England starting September 2021?
    In the statement from 23 June 2020 by Michelle Donelan (Minister of State for Universities), it says: “Following our decision to leave the EU, EU […] nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. […] This change will not affect […] EU […] nationals benefiting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.”
    This statement apparently does not cover UK nationals benefiting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
    2) Also, are you able to find out when the Scottish government is planning to make its announcement about finance for the academic year 2021/22? Thank you.

    1. Dear Rosie, thank you for your questions. If your children are British Nationals and want to return to the UK for study, your children will continue to be eligible for financial support for courses and apprenticeships starting in the UK until 31 December 2027, including home fee status. To receive support, you will need to meet existing eligibility criteria. For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe and https://www.gov.scot/news/support-for-students-after-eu-exit/ for information on Scotland specifically.

      1. Dear Embassy team,
        Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify: Will my children (British nationals) be eligible for undergraduate financial support until the end of 2027 despite the fact that they have not been previously resident in England or Scotland? They have lived in Austria since birth. I am unsure about the definition of ‘returners’.
        Many thanks.

        1. Hello Rosie. The seven year period also applies to UK nationals resident in the EU who have not previously been resident in the UK.

          1. Dear Embassy team,
            Thank you so much. However, I am going round in circles. The information found at the link quoted is contradictory as it says UK nationals are eligible for home fees status in Scotland even if they have never lived in the UK – but they still need to have lived in Scotland beforehand: https://www.gov.scot/news/support-for-students-after-eu-exit/
            The eligibility criteria for home fees status in England specify that UK nationals need to have lived in the UK for a certain number of years before attending a UK university. How can the seven year period apply to the UK nationals who have not previously been resident in the UK if the eligibility criteria specify the opposite?
            UKCISA specifies that UK nationals need to have lived in Scotland in order to receive home fees status. See Item 2(c) at: https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/Scotland-fee-status
            I would be very grateful if you could clarify this. Thanks so much.

  14. Hi, I cannot find an answer for the situation I am in here Austria. I am married to an european, born here, but Italien nationality. He is self employed and I am not in paid work.
    We are self financed. I do not kow which card I should obtain, Red white or red white plus. We arrived back here in Nov 2016. The details on the gov site seem to cover only employed persons or students, where do I fit in? Also I am not sure of the deadline for applying for a card. I would appreciate your help as I do not know who else to ask.
    Thank you.

    1. Dear Sarah, thanks for getting in touch. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of those who have exercised their freedom of movement in Austria before 31 December 2020 to continue to live here. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence permit. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities about their plans and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts at https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

    1. Hello Tom. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can continue to travel to the UK for holidays or short-term trips, without needing a visa. The validity of European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) for travel after 1 January 2021 is currently subject to negotiations. The government already advises that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance. This will remain our advice in all circumstances.

      Please have a look at http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria for other useful information for UK nationals in Austria.

  15. My children were born in Austria and have never lived in the UK. As far as I understand they will now need to pay more for further education in Austria as well as having a disadvantage in the jobs market (i.e. they have become second class citizens overnight). Will they be able to study in the UK and have access to health care in the same way as other UK residents? Note one of them is 10 years old so he won’t be studying for some time.

    1. Dear John, regarding your questions on education, in short, your children’s rights to access education in Austria are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. For further information, please take a look at the Austrian Government guidance on schooling and higher education: https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/en/topics/brexit/education-studying-youth-mobility-and-research.html
      Please note that you will need to apply for a new residence permit to confirm your rights in Austria. The Austrian authorities have not yet published information, we will update the Living in Austria guide as soon as they do. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria.
      Your children’s rights to British citizenship have not changed and their right to live, work and access benefits and services, such as healthcare, in the UK has not changed.
      If your children are British Nationals and want to return to the UK for study, your children will continue to be eligible for financial support for courses and apprenticeships starting in the UK until 31 December 2027, including home fee status. To receive support, you will need to meet existing eligibility criteria. For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe.
      Apologies for the slight delay with this response, we hope it has been helpful!

  16. Many of us have elderly parents currently living in the UK who we will need to bring to Austria at some point in the future to look after them. What rights do we have as British subjects in Austria to do this? What rights would our elderly parents have (e.g. access to old folks homes, access to health care)?

    1. Hello John, many thanks for your question. If you are living in Austria before the end of 2020 and remain resident here, you can be joined by close family members at any point in the future, on the basis of current EU rules, where the relationship existed before the end of the transition period. The definition of a close family member includes dependent parents and grandparents. Please note that you will need to get a document to confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and your parents will also need to obtain such a document when they join you in the future. Your parents would have the same rights to access healthcare and other services as they currently have as EU citizens. For further information, please have a look at http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria.

  17. For travellers from UK to Austria – can anyone opt for a Covid Test at the airport or is the test limited to those who are resident in Austria? If the test is done in the UK, do you recommend any particular testing services that would be approved by the Austrian authorities?

  18. Thank you for this. I have a few questions:
    1. Is it known whether Austria will apply a declaratory or constitutive scheme?
    2. Any idea when we might be able to apply in either case (hopefully before the end of the year rather than after).
    3. In previous outreach meetings it was said that those covered by the WA could switch categories (i.e. student, worker, retiree, etc). Presumably then no proof of minimum earnings is required for a long-term resident (born in Austria, permanently resident 20+ years), currently a full-time student?
    4. Any good news regarding dual nationality (hope dies last as they say!)?

    1. Dear Marie-Therese, thanks for your questions. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Austria has not yet published information as to whether they are choosing a declaratory or constitutive scheme. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for your new residence permit. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

      You are correct that UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement can switch their status and no income test will apply when doing so, as long as they are still exercising their free movement (and as a student you are doing so).

      We are aware that there has been a great deal of interest in the subject of dual nationality from UK nationals living in Austria and we have continually raised this important issue in our meetings with the Austrian authorities. While there are no restrictions on dual nationality from the UK’s perspective, in Austria UK nationals are legally bound to renounce their British nationality if they naturalise as Austrians, as the authorities here follow the principle of mono-citizenship and there are very few exceptions to this rule.

  19. Hi…..both my wife and I are British pensioners who have been living permanently in Austria for the last 5 years. My question concerns the S1 reciprocal health arrangement between Austria and the UK we have had access to for the past 5 years
    The Withdrawal Agreement I believe, when ratified last year, protected the rights of UK citizens beyond the transition period in their member country of residence.
    Can you confirm that we will be entitled to this reciprocal health cover once the transition period ends and continue to do so for the rest of our lives regardless of the outcome of the present UK and the EU negotiations?
    Regards Peter

    1. Hi Peter, and thanks for participating in our Q&A session.

      Yes, you are correct that under the Withdrawal Agreement, S1 form holders who have moved to Austria before 31 December 2020 will continue to have life-long healthcare rights provided they remain registered as resident in Austria. This means access to healthcare in Austria will not change for those S1 form holders for as long as they remain resident in Austria. The Withdrawal Agreement has already entered into force and is applicable irrespective of the outcome of future partnership negotiations. While the Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights to continued use of an S1, there might be administrative steps to complete. We will update the Living in Austria Guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria) when information is available, please sign up for email alerts! Please remember that you will also need to apply for a new residence document to confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Best wishes for your health.

  20. I will be moving to Austria in August with my family. Are there any ‘additional’ requirements for me considering I do not already live there?
    Many thanks for this Q&A session. I appreciate your time and effort in keeping us informed. Matthew

    1. Dear Matthew, thanks for your question. During the transition period, the rules of free movement still apply to UK nationals and you can move to Austria as an EU citizen. The right of any UK national legally resident in Austria before 31 December 2020 will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. The important thing for you will be to ensure you register with the Austrian authorities when you move to Austria. You need to:
      •get a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) within 4 months of arriving in Austria
      •get a residence registration form (Meldezettel) within 3 days of moving into your new home
      In addition, you will need to get a new residence permit to confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for this new document, but you must apply for your registration certificate and residence registration form within the timelines mentioned above. Please have a look at our Living in Austria guide for further information and consider signing up for email alerts: gov.uk/livinginaustria

  21. Thank you for offering this Q&A session.
    I sent out the details to the UKCA mailing list this morning (Sunday, 05.07.) and received the question below.
    It would be interesting to hear how the Austrian authorities deal with this question for other 3rd country citizens or whether there will be exceptions for UK citizens.
    And of course the basic question – will a rot-weiß-rot Karte really be necessary and if so, how to apply for it?

    “Glad to see that the question about owning property after Brexit is starting to be considered, although we still don’t have an answer to the question: what if you currently own property in Austria but are denied red-white-red card after Brexit. Could you raise this to the Q&A session? Many people must be in this position.”

    1. Dear Duncan, thank you for forwarding on this question. All Member States are bound by Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects property rights. This includes the those who own a property and who own a property and let it to tenants. Therefore, your rights to keep property you already own will not be impacted by the UK leaving the EU.

      If you are looking to purchase property in the future, rules might differ depending on where in Austria you live. Please contact the Austrian authorities with any questions on property purchase in Austria.

      Lastly, regarding your question about the card. All UK nationals living in Austria before 31 December 2020 will need to get a new card to confirm their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Austrian authorities have not yet published details about the application process, but we will update the Living in Austria guide as soon as they do. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria. In any case, UK nationals will have at least until 30 June 2021 to obtain the new document. We hope this has been helpful and thanks again for sharing the information with your group.

  22. Hello, thanks for running the Q&A session. My question is regarding converting my driver’s license. I am not sure how long I will remain in Austria after the transition period and therefore want to wait before converting my license. If I understand correctly non-EU/EEA citizens can convert their drivers’ license in Austria within the first 6 months. Does this 6-month period begin from the 1st of January 2021?

    1. Dear Tim, many thanks for your question. You are correct that UK nationals should exchange their driving licences within 6 months of moving to Austria but these rules will only stay the same until the end of the transition period on 31 December, 2020. The future treatment of driving licences will depend on a potential future agreement on driving licence exchange between the UK and Austria. Therefore we would recommend changing your driving licence before 31 December, 2020. For further information about foreign driving licences in Austria, please see the link below to the guidance provided by the Austrian authorities: https://help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/139/Seite.1390000.html

    2. Dear Tim, many thanks for your question. You are correct that UK nationals should exchange their driving licences within 6 months of moving to an EU Member State, but these rules will only stay the same until the end of the transition period on 31 December, 2020. The future treatment of driving licences will depend on a potential future agreement on driving licence exchange between the UK and Austria. Therefore we would recommend changing your driving licence before 31 December, 2020. For further information about foreign driving licences in Austria, please see the link below to the guidance provided by the Austrian authorities: https://help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/139/Seite.1390000.html

  23. I wonder if you could clarify the regulations for travel from Austria to the UK and back, please, in particular whether quarantine is required in either direction.

  24. Thank you once again for organising another Q&A session, Mr. Turner.

    My question:

    The last Q&A was held under the cloud of no agreement. The current situation is that the UK has left the EU.  I tried to apply for Rot Weiss Rot Karte Plus (in Meidling), this year. I was told that this card is not for the UK citizens and the Austrian authorities will issue guidance in future. Is there a way forward now? I am a UK citizen, living and working in Vienna, Austria.

    Please guide.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for your new residence permit, which will be a bespoke permit for UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  25. I applied for the Anmeldebescheinigung on 25 October 2019 and have had no communication from the MA-35 since then (9 months). I have had no success in my numerous attempts to reach them to follow up. I am concerned that I will not achieve Austrian residency status before 31 December 2020. Will my rights under the Withdrawal Agreement be upheld? What can I do to elicit a response of some kind at this time?

  26. I am a long term resident in Austria (since the mid 1980s.) I have a ‘Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts’, and have been trying to find out from the Foreign Ministry email hotline what I have to do to confirm my status before the December 31 deadline. I have had two separate emails with conflicting dates concerning what is expected to be the deadline (one said there would be a 6-month extension to mid 2021…). I just want to know what, and when, I have to apply for permanent residency.

    1. Dear Marcia, thank you for your question. First of all, it is good that you already hold a Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence card and you might be able to simply exchange your Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts for the new card. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  27. Has there been any further information about pensioners and the S1 for medical treatment. If we are not able to use our e card that we have at present, what are we to do for medical treatment after 1st January 2021. I am sure this is going to affect a considerable amount of persons. Thank you

    1. Hello Beryl. Many thanks for your question. S1 form holders who have moved to Austria before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 will continue to have life-long healthcare rights provided they remain registered as resident in Austria. This means access to healthcare in Austria will not change for those S1 form holders for as long as they remain resident in Austria. This is guaranteed in the Withdrawal Agreement. While the Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights to continued use of an S1, there might be administrative steps to complete. We will update the Living in Austria Guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria) when information is available, please sign up for email alerts! As an S1 form holder, if you visit the UK you will still be able to access free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales, as you can now. To confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you will need to get a new residence permit by 30 June 2021. It’s not yet possible to apply for this document but please check the Living in Austria guide later this year, which will be updated when further information is available. Wishing you good health, and thanks again for participating in our Q&A!

  28. I have been living and working in Austria for 30 years. I hold a UK passport only.

    I have some documentation (which I obtained in 2017 voluntarily since they are were not legally then) indicating residence rights here, but they are based on EU membership.

    The Austrian documents I currently have are:

    Bescheinigung des Dauerafenthalts für EWR Buerger (Yellow A4 stamped paper) and

    Lichtbildauweiss fur EWR. Buerger Green Card)

    I want to replace these documents to ones which are valid from 2021 as I plan to finish work here but remain a permeant resident living on Austrian based Pensions. Austrian Federal ministry hotline tells me that as yet there is no definite procedures available to replace them. Nor was it clear if they will need replacing

    Please could you tell me any information you have about when it will be necessary to replace them and exactly what documents I would need to obtain in my circumstances.

    1. Dear Philip, thank you for your question.

      First of all, it is good that you already hold the relevant Austrian residence documents. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence card and you might be able to simply exchange your Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts for the new card.

      We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  29. Dear Mr Turner
    As a British National living & working in Innsbruck, Austria for over 20 years I have been following the Brexit developments (mostly with concern) over the past few years…
    Will my “freedom of travel” remain the same after January of next year?
    Both on a business and personal level it is extremely important for me to able to jump in the car / onto a plane and travel to Italy, Germany, France etc without hinderance or unnecessary documentation…??
    On the subject of documentation…I truly hope the British/ Austrian Governments do not deceide to use our post brexit status as a means to generate extra income?!..
    ..I know I’m not alone when I say I have no wish to pay hundreds of euros every few years for yet another document (Aufenthaltstitel / Aufenthaltsbewilligung) stating who I am and where I live!!!
    Any Information you have regarding the Status of British Citizens After January 2021 would be most welcome.

    Best regards

    J.F Innsbruck

    1. Hello Jason. After the end of the transition period, there will be new rules around travel. If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Rules on travel related to the provision of services across borders are subject to current UK-EU negotiations. If travelling for work, you will need to check the work permit requirements for the countries in which you would like to work.

      Regarding the cost of documents, the Withdrawal Agreement says “the document evidencing the status shall be issued free of charge or for a charge not exceeding that imposed on citizens or nationals of the host State for the issuing of similar documents”. Therefore, the costs of the new residence document for UK nationals in Austria will not exceed the costs of an Austrian ID card or passport. We will update the Living in Austria guide as soon as further information about the process for applying for this document becomes available.

      Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  30. For elderly Britons without children, and with family outside of Austria is there likely to be any issues faced regarding inheritance / bequests to family members in the UK from next year?

    1. Hello Richard. Succession raises complex legal questions, the answers to which are heavily dependent on individual circumstances. Therefore, please seek expert legal advice if you have questions about your personal arrangements.

  31. I would like to visit relatives in the UK and possibly have them visit me here in Austria. When is this likely to be possible either with some minor restrictions or without restrictions?

  32. Will there be any difference in levels of access afforded to Britons wishing to work in regulated professions (reglementierte Gewerbe) compared to unregulated professions? This applies both for those already working in such professions and those in the process of or intending to set up in such professions at the end of the transition period.

    1. Hello Michael. Thanks for your question. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of equal access to the Austrian labour market for UK nationals living in Austria before the end of the transition period. In addition, Austria allows third country nationals to run a regulated business. See https://www.help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/232/Seite.2320330.html and contact the Austrian authorities with any further questions you might have. If you are intending to exercise a UK professional qualification, please ensure that you apply for recognition of your UK professional qualification before 31 December 2020, as rules for recognition applications submitted after the end of the transition period might change.

  33. 1. What is the earliest date, that I can apply for my documents to remain in Austria ( Rot Weiss Rot card etc)?

    2 Would I still be able to open an English bank account , if I am not UK resident and if so how?

    3. Would I still be able to purchase property in the UK without being a UK resident?

    1. Hello Sarah, thanks for your questions. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of all UK nationals living in Austria before the end of the transition period. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence permit. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

      Concerning your ability to open a bank account in the UK as a non-resident, please consult your bank.

      There are no restrictions on buying property in the UK nor requirements related to residency regardless of whether you are a UK national or a foreigner. For more information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services/owning-renting-property

  34. I am a woman aged 61. I started to receive an Austrian pension from the PVA in June 2019. As I have been here for ten years it is only 277.00 Euros a month. As such I will need to continue working. How much can I earn before my pension is affected? How much savings can I have before my pension is affected. I have no additional private or employment related pensions. I will not get my UK state pension until 2025 at the earliest. I have been asked to make a statment for Fragebogen Ausgleichzulage which includes questions about my current income for this purpose what is included as income? For example are any of the following considered to be income, a PPI compensation payment, an inheritence, a Tax rebate, over payment of SVA refund, a car insurance refund, Abfertigung vorsorg kasse lump sum payment, Familienbeihilfe. Is my childs income for a Lehre (609 Euros) also included?
    I have been told my pension has been stopped as they assume (because I was not able to complete the forms) that I have to much money but what is too much? I would have thought I would just need to pay more tax if I earned more than the basic allowence. I only earned 315.00 in the whole year from my job in 2019. I understand from the finanzeamt that PPI compensation and an inheritence does not have to be entered on the tax return. So I am wondering how can I have too much money. I have not found anyone at PVA or WKO or friends who can explain the system to me in English.
    What arrangements will be in place for people in a similar situation over the Brexit withdrawel phase? During the Covid Crisis I have had no employment and am wondering how I am going to be able to prove I have enough income to stay in Austria when the time comes to making the registration if I do not find work soon.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, we cannot offer advice on tax. Please keep trying with the PVA or consider speaking to an accountant (Steuerberater).

  35. The question I would like addressed is what changes, if any, there will be to the rights of British citizens living in Austria (and their third-country spouses) with regard to receiving Austrian social security, state benefits and similar (e.g. Wochengeld, Kinderbetreuungsgeld, Arbeitslosengeld).

    1. Hello John. The EU’s social security coordination rules will continue to apply in full to you, if you are lawfully resident here before the end of the implementation period, for as long as you remain living here. You will still have the same access to Austrian benefits as you had before the UK left the EU. Please note that you will need to get a new residence permit to confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement by 30 June 2021 the latest. For further information please see http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria and sign up for email alerts.

  36. I understand about one country for residence (Austria), but what is situation with crossing borders for holidays, leisure, shopping, access to international airport? Will we need visas?

    1. Hello Terence. Thanks for your question. You will be able to cross borders for holidays, leisure, shopping and access to international airports even after the end of the transition period. Rules for those moving after 1 January 2021 are currently subject to negotiations. Visas or residence permits might only be necessary if you stay intend to stay in other European countries for more than 90 days (out of 180 days) or intend to work or provide services in other EU countries after 1 January 2021. See https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021 for further information

  37. For many of us Brits living “permanently” in Austria (and/or who are married to an Austrian, as am I) the most effective way for our rights to be protected in perpetuity would be for us to be permitted to have dual citizenship (i.e. to hold both UK and Austrian passports). The Austrian authorities currently prohibit dual citizenship except in very specific cases, and require the forfeiture of a British passport in order to obtain an Austrian passport. Is the Embassy putting any pressure on the Austrian authorities to make a specific exception for British citizens permanently resident in Austria pre-Brexit to obtain an Austrian passport (assuming all other requirements are met) without giving up their British citizenship? If so, what has been the response? If not, why not?

    1. Dear Alan, thanks for your question. Understandably, there has been a great deal of interest in the subject of dual nationality from UK nationals living in Austria and we have continually raised this important issue in our meetings with the Austrian authorities. While there are no restrictions on dual nationality from the UK’s perspective, in Austria UK nationals unfortunately are legally bound to renounce their British nationality if they naturalise as Austrians, as the authorities here follow the principle of mono-citizenship and there are very few exceptions to this rule. We will however, continue to raise this important issue in our meetings with the Austrian authorities. In addition, please rest assured that the Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights to live in Austria, please have a look at http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria for further information.

  38. You can ask questions here and they will be published on Monday. Alternatively, you can ask questions directly on the facebook post, which will appear on Monday at midday.

    1. 1) I do not use Facebook – How can I find the replies to this Q&A?
      2) How will UK citizens be informed of what actions we need to take to rectify our status now the UK has left the EU? Do we need to continually look to see when new information is published – or are there any plans to inform us (by email or post) either from the Embassy or the Austrian Government? (A check list of actions needed before 31/12/2020 would be a useful start)
      3) Health Care. I have both a UK and Austrian pension having worked in both countries for 16+ years. I also pay UK tax. Why from 31/12/2020 can I not get free NHS care when I visit the UK? As I understand it access to free NHS cover appears not to be based upon
      a) citizenship
      b) residency (UK Visa holders need to pay an NHS surcharge)
      c) payment of NICs (I have paid 30+ years of NICs and now get a UK state pension)
      d) payment of income tax (I pay UK income tax)
      The UK Government should at least ensure BREXIT does not reduce the rights and increase the costs of UK citizens in Europe when they visit the UK.

      1. Hi David, and thank you for your questions!

        We will be publishing a summary of the Facebook Q&A on gov.uk, so that also those who do not use Facebook have access to the answers. To stay up to date regarding actions to take to prepare for the end of the transition period, we recommend that you sign up for email alerts on our Living in Austria guide (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria). Regarding healthcare, as a pensioner who has paid NICs in the UK, you may be eligible to receive an S1 form from the UK. You can find more information and contacts here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-austria – please contact the NHSBSA for information on your eligibility. S1 form holders are able to access free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales. If you are already receiving healthcare on the basis of a S1 form or start so in the future, your access to healthcare will be protected for lifetime, provided you remain living in Austria. Thanks again for your questions and we wish you good health.

    2. Dear Ambassador Leigh Turner
      Many thanks for holding this online Q & A. My questions are below:
      My family and I are UK citizens and registered as residents in Austria:
      • My wife is self-employed in Austria. How will the UK’s exit from Europe impact her in terms of self-employment (e.g. need to register, etc)?
      • My children are 14 and 17 years, and go to Austrian schools. How will the UK’s exit from Europe impact them in terms of (1) entitlement to schooling, (2) cost of schooling, (3) rights and costs to attend university in Austria, and (4) rights and costs to attend university in the UK?
      Many thanks Iain Stewart

      1. Dear Iain, thank you for your questions. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of any UK national who has exercised their freedom of movement in Austria before the end of the transition period. This includes self-employment. Therefore, your wife’s rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. Please note that you will need to apply for a new residence permit to confirm your rights. The Austrian authorities have not yet published information, we will update the Living in Austria guide as soon as they do. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria
        Regarding your questions on schooling/education, in short, your children’s rights to access education in Austria is protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. For further information, please take a look at the Austrian Government guidance on schooling and higher education: https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/en/topics/brexit/education-studying-youth-mobility-and-research.html
        In addition, your children will continue to be eligible for financial support for courses and apprenticeships starting in the UK until 31 December 2027, including home fee status. To receive support, you will need to meet existing eligibility criteria. For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe

    3. I applied for the Anmeldebescheinigung on 25 October 2019 but have had no response from the MA-35 yet, and have been unsuccessful in my attempts to reach them to follow-up. I am concerned that I will not make the deadline of 31 December 2020 to complete the residency process. What steps can I take at this point?

      1. Dear Yvonne, thank you for getting in touch. We are aware of delays at MA 35 and have raised these with the Austrian authorities. Please rest assured that you will have at least until 30 June 2021 to obtain the new residence permit for UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (in addition to your Anmeldebescheinigung). Please have a look at our Living in Austria guide for further information: http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria

    4. Dear Leigh,

      the Guardian published an article on 15th May, 2020 entitled “BREXIT: Serious risk EU will fail to protect UK citizens, says Gove”. In the aricle there is a reference to a specific concern in respect to Austria. I am not sure whether it is a real concern. It guess it depends on how soon the Austrian government will publish the details and deadlines for the process of registration. What can you say to the Guardian article?

  39. I have a British passport and an Anmeldebescheinigung. Will there be any advantage, or not, in carrying the two together when re-entering Austria through any border?

    1. Hello Nigel. During the transition period rules on travel will remain the same. You need to carry proof of ID (such as your passport or an Austrian ID card) when travelling. Once you have applied for and received it, you should also bring the new residence card that will replace your Anmeldebescheinigung. Please note that after 1 January 2021, your UK passport must also be valid for at least 6 months from your date of travel for travel to Schengen states. Please have a look at http://www.gov.uk/livinginaustria and https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021 for further information.

      1. Thank you, that’s most helpful; I wasn’t even aware a “new residence card” exists. What is it called? Is it the Rot-Weiß-Rot, or something else?

  40. The withdrawl agreement was signed 6 months ago, yet the Austrian government still have not provided any details of what the registration process will be, what it’ll cost, or what we need to provide.

    Do we know why they are leaving it so late?

    1. Dear Anon, thank you for getting in touch. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, member states have until the end of the transition period to open the new residence system for UK nationals. Irrespective of when the system opens, you have at least until 30 June 2021 to apply for the new residence permit. We are in close contact with the Austrian authorities about their plans and will update the Living in Austria guide when further information becomes available. Please sign up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

  41. Can we ask the question here, now? Or only on Monday?
    We have lived in Austria with our daughter since 2013. We have enjoyed excellent (free) health care. Will this continue after Brexit?

    1. Hi Anne, thank you for your question. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the access of UK nationals to healthcare in the member state they are living in before 31 December 2020, provided you continue to live there. Therefore, you can continue to access healthcare in Austria in the same way as you have accessed it before the UK left the EU. For further information, please have a look at our Living in Austria guide and consider signing up for email alerts: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria. Thanks and best wishes!

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.

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